Neck

Neck Articles

Is your workout giving you a stiff neck?

When people do not use the proper form during physical activity, they may experience neck pain. Common mistakes include extending the neck forward when swinging a golf club, looking up while doing a “downward dog” position in yoga, and leaning too far over bicycle handlebars. Tucking your chin back toward the neck helps keep the neck in a neutral position and may help reduce pain. Strengthening the neck, shoulder, and core muscles also helps prevent neck pain. More »

When a pain in the neck is serious

A cervical artery dissection is a tear in one of the arteries in the neck that carry blood to the brain. Although rare, it is one of the most common causes of stroke in people under age 50. Sudden movements that twist or hyperextend the neck can cause the problem. They include whiplash from a car accident, chiropractic neck adjustments, certain intense forms of exercise, and tipping the head back over a sink at a beauty salon. The pain from a neck artery dissection is unusual, persistent, and often accompanied by a severe headache. (Locked) More »

In a slump? Fix your posture

Most changes in posture are a result of bad habits, such as sitting hunched over and not standing correctly. Over time, these habits can create muscle weakness and imbalances that can trigger spasms and place stress on the neck, low back, and shoulders. More »

Do habits cause your neck pain?

Looking down at a smartphone or laptop for long periods of time can cause neck pain. The position flexes the neck forward and requires the use of neck and shoulder muscles. Over time, this position may strain the muscles to the point of weakness. To relieve pain, it helps to raise a screen closer to eye level and to do neck exercises and stretches. Posture is important, too. Supporting the arms while sitting also helps, since taking pressure off the arms takes pressure off the shoulder muscles. More »

Turn away from neck pain

Approximately 80% of people experience neck pain during their lifetime, and 20% to 50% deal with it annually. Besides the obvious physical discomfort, neck pain can trigger headaches and cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms, and may be linked to medical problems, including rheumatoid arthritis or infection. Making certain lifestyle changes can keep your neck strong, healthy, and pain-free.  (Locked) More »

Where does it hurt?

The Harvard Health Decision Guides help you determine the appropriate next steps to alleviate your pain. More »

Neck pain: Core exercises can help

Strengthening your core muscles to better support your spine can help prevent neck pain. Six exercises are illustrated. Pulling your chin in, sitting up straight, adjusting your workspace, can also help. (Locked) More »

How to soothe a sore neck

Most men develop neck pain for the same reasons they suffer low back pain, often strained or sprained muscles, ligaments, and tendons. First-line therapy is rest, ice, heat, pain relievers, and possibly limited use of a neck collar. Exercises to stretch and strengthen the neck, shoulder, and upper back muscles can speed recovery from a painful neck condition and possibly reduce flare-ups. Therapy will likely combine isometric and range-of-motion exercises. In isometric exercise, you tighten the neck muscles against an opposing force. If neck pain is severe, lasts for weeks or months, drastically limits your ability to move your head, radiates into the shoulders, or feels worse in the morning, more extensive therapy and possibly surgery may be indicated. More »